CIEH UK releases latest noise complaints statistics for England

10 February 2020, Ross Matthewman

CIEH has today published the results of its flagship noise survey, which provides the only source of information on the vital contribution made by Environmental Health Practitioners (EHPs) working to resolve noise complaints in England.

CIEH NOISE SURVEY 2018/19 REPORT ON FINDINGS – ENGLAND

As the only source of local authority noise complaints data in England, the CIEH survey is a vital resource for public health policy makers. Data from the CIEH survey is being used by Public Health England for the Public Health Outcomes Framework, which establishes an important link between noise and health outcomes.

Key figures for England (figures represent 143 local authorities, 45% of local authorities in England):

  • A total of 143,054 noise complaints were recorded by these local authorities, 61 complaints for every 10,000 people
  • 2,543 notices were served by these local authorities, one notice for every 10,000 people.
  • There were 101 noise-related prosecutions
  • Overall, local authorities allocated 0.2 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) professionals to deal with noise complaints per 10,000 population

Greater London had the highest number of noise complaints, 183 for every 10,000 people, more than double the national average. Local authorities in Greater London also served the most notices, four for every 10,000 people. South West England had the lowest number of noise complaints, roughly half of the national average, at 35 for every 10,000 people. 

Residential noise accounted for the largest proportion of noise complaints. This was the case across all regions in England, except in the South East, where noise from construction, commercial and leisure premises were greater sources of complaints.

Other sources of noise complaints recorded by local authorities include noise from the street, vehicles, machinery and equipment, dogs, agriculture, alarms, military, traffic, aircrafts and railways.

Compared with the last time CIEH collected noise data in 2015/16, the 2018/19 data shows a 9% increase in the number of noise complaints in the 65 local authorities which participated in the survey in both years.

Noise is the single largest issue of complaint made to local authorities in the UK, and according to the World Health Organisation, noise is a disease burden that is second in magnitude only to that from air pollution.

Anne Godfrey, CIEH Chief Executive, said:

“These figures remind us that noise continues to be a major issue of complaint made to local authorities across England.

Noise has profound impacts on people’s health, wellbeing and quality of life. Environmental Health Practitioners (EHPs) are on the frontline of resolving noise complaints and deserve recognition for their important contribution to supporting and protecting the nation’s public health.

I would like to thank all the local authorities which participated in our survey, without whom we would not be able to provide this vital data source. Looking forwards, we plan to continue to collect and use this information to ensure the health impacts of noise are considered in national policy decisions.”

Complaints to the DAA

8000 Complaints per year

Individual made 8,000 noise complaints to Dublin Airport in one year.

Source: Irish Times 4th Feb 2020

Stock photo: Getty

A person who protested about noise at Dublin Airport almost 8,000 times last year contributed to a 10-fold increase in complaints.
The individual accounted for more than half of the total of 15,160 complaints, up from just 1,453 in all of 2018.
And along with another person, they made up almost three-quarters of the total.
Figures published by Dublin Airport Authority show there was an average of 42 complaints a day.
But the prolific complainant from Ongar in north west Dublin made a total of 7,786 complaints – a daily average of 21. This included 4,554 in July alone when he lodged an average of 147 complaints each day.
The other individual filed 3,435 noise complaints.
The DAA said the large increase in complaints last year was skewed by the multiple complaints made by a number of individuals.
An airport spokesperson said the DAA had engaged directly with the two individuals who had made the most numerous complaints.

He pointed out that, for example, the new Airbus A320Neo aircraft that was introduced by Aer Lingus last year generates 50pc less noise than the previous model of the same plane.
According to the DAA, more than 95pc of aircraft using Dublin Airport since 2015 were the quietest type of aircraft compared to 83pc in 2008.
The DAA spokesperson said the reduction of aircraft noise in neighbouring communities was the joint responsibility of Dublin Airport, the Irish Aviation Authority and airlines.
“DAA works closely with all those stakeholders to minimise aircraft noise at the airport,” the spokesperson said.
Figures show that 88pc of complaints last year related to aircraft departures from the main runway taking off in a westerly direction.
The spokesperson said DAA was acutely aware of the concerns of local residents in relation to noise and engaged with them on an ongoing basis. “A balance has to be achieved between those concerns and the needs of the Irish economy,” he added.
Official figures show that 99.2pc of commercial aircraft using Dublin Airport last year kept to the correct flight path on approach and take-off.
Under a noise management plan, most aircraft taking off from Dublin Airport’s main runway must maintain a straight course for five nautical miles before commencing a turn unless otherwise permitted by air traffic controllers.
The DAA operates a €1m noise and flight track monitoring system to ensure minimum disruption to local communities, which includes eight fixed noise monitoring terminals around north Dublin and one mobile monitor.
It said all aircraft operating at Dublin Airport conform to current standards regulated by the International Civil Aviation Organisation.
“As older aircraft are phased out in the short term, this situation will continue to improve,” the spokesperson added.

What are Strategic Noise Maps?

Strategic noise maps are produced using computer software (such as CADNA-A)  that calculates the noise levels from information on  traffic flows (annual AADT figures), rail movements, aircraft movements and industrial noise (yet not  considered in Ireland). It also takes account of topography (ground levels and building  heights) of an area. Computer modelling is used as noise measurement would be prohibitively expensive and could not, over the course of a year, practically cover the large areas and numbers of buildings to comply with the Environmental Noise  Directive. It would also be technically difficult to isolate the different noise sources i.e. road traffic, aircraft traffic and rail traffic. The noise maps are contour maps showing areas of differing levels of noise at a height of 4m above ground, for an average day in the year for individual sources i.e road traffic railway traffic, aircraft in flight of industry (had it been plotted in Ireland). For urban areas these can  be combined into one map to give an overall picture of the noise climate.

rail noise

 

CIEH Noise Survey 2019 (UK)

A very progressive move by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health in the UK.

The survey will be open until 31 July 2019

This year the survey is being supported by RH Environmental (RHE).

Why is CIEH noise survey important?

This noise survey provides the only source of regular national information on the important contribution made by environmental health professionals working to resolve noise and noise nuisance complaints.

Some of the data from CIEH’s survey has also been adopted into the Public Health Outcomes Framework which is administered by Public Health England (PHE). This provides an important link between noise and health outcomes. As the department responsible for setting national policy on noise, Department for the Environment, Food, Rural Affairs, also draw on CIEH data on noise. The data was also referenced in the Chief Medical Officer annual report of 2017 to emphasise the importance of noise as a public health issue.

We will also be using the data to engage with Welsh Government, to try and establish a stronger understanding of the links between noise and public health.

How will we use this data?

We will be sharing the data received with colleagues at DEFRA and PHE. CIEH will also use it to inform media press releases to highlight the work of EHPs.

What has changed?

CIEH has been running its noise survey since 2000 and collecting noise data from local authorities for much longer than that. However, with the response rates slowly dropping over recent years, we took a break last year in order to improve the survey and make it easier and simpler to submit.

How you can help

By providing us with information on the number of noise complaints received in a 12 month period and your work to resolve these in your local area. We are interested in as much or as little data you can provide – everything is useful.

Who would we like data from?

We are only collecting data from England and Wales. This is because Northern Ireland and Scotland have their own data collections systems in place, led by central Government. No such collections exist in England and Wales.

What data do I have to provide?

We will ask you some basic questions about which LA you’re submitting data for and the timeframe the data is for (financial year or other).

Minimum required information:

  • Total number of noise complaints received
  • Total number of notices served
  • Staffing levels for noise related work

Additional (optional) information:

  • Total number of prosecutions
  • The size of the population served by the LA
  • Breakdowns of noise complaints by sector

If you have any difficulties completing this survey or need to contact us for any reason, please email: policy@cieh.org

International Noise Awareness Day

Its International Noise Awareness Day today…..

All over the world, people, organizations, and governments will commemorate the 24th Annual International Noise Awareness Day (INAD) on Wednesday, April 24, 2019.

Eco Eye Diarmuid Keaney

Do you have a noise issue? Why not log it on Ireland’s ONLY noise complaint website to help increase NOISE AWARENESS.

Noise complaints Maynooth

Noise from parties a constant problem in Maynooth estates – Kildare court told.

Noise from parties a constant problem in Maynooth estates - Kildare court told

Noise from house parties is a constant problem in estates in Maynooth, gardai told Kilcock District Court on March 5 during a hearing into a noise related incident in the town.

Garda Sergeant Jim Kelly told Judge Desmond Zaidan that noise from houses is an environmental issue and should be reported to the county council.

Asked by the judge what the gardai did when they were called out, Sgt Kelly said they asked people politely to turn the music down.

“It is a constant problem in Maynooth,” he said.

Sgt Kelly was commenting just before Judge Zaidan applied the Probation Act in the case of a 46-year-old Maynooth man, who was prosecuted following threats over noise levels at a house next door.

Justin O’Keefe, 23 Greenfield Drive, Maynooth, had been charged with threatening to damage property at 22 Greenfield Drive on the Sunday evening of November 26 2017.

Last October, the court heard that Mr O’Keefe, who has young children, sought to have noise reduced at a rented house next door to him and lost his temper with the tenants, threatening to do damage.

However, he did not follow through on his threat.

Mr O’Keefe had called the gardai previously in relation to the noise. The court heard Mr O’Keefe could bring a case in the District Court under Section 108 of the Environment Protection Act but that gardai could not force people to turn down music at 1am in the morning.

Judge Zaidan said Mr O’Keefe was “pushed to extremes.”

On March 5, David Powderly, solicitor for Mr O’Keefe said neither the landlord nor the tenants wanted to get involved in a restorative justice process.

The judge applied the Probation

 

Source: Leinster Leader, to read the article, click here.

New legislation could make it easier to complain about noisy neighbours

 

New legislation could make it easier to complain about noisy neighbours

New legislation being proposed could change the complaints process for people who deal with noisy neighbours.

Fianna Fáil TD for Dublin Mid-West, John Curran, wants to protect the identity of a complainant.

At present, people have to lodge complaints with the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) if their neighbours are renters.

However they have to provide their own name, which Mr Curran has said is making people fearful to raise issues.

He had called on Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy to amend existing legislation to allow for complaints of a neighbours anti-social behaviour to be lodged to the RTB by a third party.

Deputy Curran raised the issue in Dáil last week.

He said: “Existing legislation regarding residential disputes linked to anti-social behaviour states that only a person who is directly and adversely affected by such behaviour can lodge a complaint to the Residential Tenancies Board.

“What’s more, their identity as the complainant will be made known.

“That makes an already perverse situation even more difficult to manage or contain particularly for those that are genuinely afraid to submit a complaint in the first place.
“We cannot operate a system for complaints on the basis that all neighbours are considerate of other residents, obliging or pleasant”.

He said he has dealt with “a number of serious cases” on behalf of constituents who have been “too fearful” to make a complaint, knowing that they will be identifiable.

“Yet they are all too aware that in the absence of a complaint, nothing can be done to address the ongoing anti-social behaviour.”

He has asked that Minister Murphy consider amending this element of the bill, so that a person other than the individual affected can make it on his or her behalf.

“The fear of backlash or being targeted for reporting their neighbour’s disruptive behaviour is deterring tenants from trying to rectify the situation because often times it’s safer to try endure the hassle caused.

“By amending legislation to allow for a third party to make the complaint on their behalf, it acts as a kind of middle ground”, he added.

Source: Newstalk

Noise Nuisance Case.

Noisy neighbour Ewa Walsh

A Nuisance homeowner, who has been keeping her neighbours awake at night by slamming doors and windows and throwing objects against a wall, has been warned she faces a month in prison if the noise continues.

Ewa Walsh claimed it was a draught that caused the doors to slam, and said the noises were “normal living” sounds and not excessive.

Mouse

Walsh, of Dun Saithne Green, Balbriggan, denied she was making excessive noise at her terraced house after her neighbour Liam Coyle brought a civil case of noise pollution against her.

Mr Coyle told the court that he had been living beside the defendant since 2011 and never experienced any issues until last year.

“At all hours of the night – 2am, 3am, 4am and 5am – it’s like she is running through her house, slamming doors and windows and throwing heavy objects against a wall,” said Mr Coyle.

He claimed that during the summer months, when the defendant was leaving her home, she would excessively rev her SUV.

He said the noise stopped and she was “quiet as a mouse” after their last court date but then in early December the noise started again.

“I have kept a log and sound recordings of it,” he said, adding that he has a partner and a young child who are kept awake by the excessive noise.

“I would like to get a night’s sleep.”

However, Ms Walsh claimed that the building quality of the terraced houses was very bad.

“If you close a door, everyone hears it. I don’t do this on purpose,” she said.

“His wife bangs on my door as well. Sometimes the draught between doors causes them to slam.”

She also asked: “What does it mean by excessive noise?”

Judge Dermot Dempsey found her guilty of making excessive noise and warned her that if it continued at its current volume, she will end up in prison.

“Monitor the situation for one month and there better be no repetition of noise – otherwise I am dealing with it,” said Judge Dempsey.

He adjourned the case until February 21.

 

Family of man killed over ‘crow banger’ claim justice has not been done

The family of a Kerry farmer killed by his neighbour in a dispute over the use of a loud crow banger on his land say they don’t feel justice has been served.

 

Michael Ferris from Rattoo in Ballyduff was jailed for five years today for the manslaughter of Anthony O’Mahony in April 2017.

Anthony O’Mahony’s niece Ann O’Carroll believes the jury got it wrong when they cleared Michael Ferris of murder.

The 63-year-old admitted killing his neighbour by ramming his teleporter into his car while he was trying to pass on a narrow country road, but he denied murder claiming he “just snapped” after over 30 years of provocation.

The trial heard they lived and farmed together in the small rural community and Mr. O’Mahony had a crow banger on his land that would go off every four and a half minutes.

Ferris told Gardaí it was so loud it would “wake the dead” and he felt he had to do something about it.

He was convicted of manslaughter and jailed for five years today – afterwards, Ms. O’Carroll said she didn’t feel justice had been served and she described the trial process as “distressing”.